balinese dance

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Arts and Crafts in Bali is a cultural heritage that has been widely known and admired by people around the world. Balinese dance, one of the beautifully crafted art performance is a storytelling in the form of dynamic bodily gestures of fingers, hands, head and eyes. Besides being work of art, Balinese Dance is also part of religious and artistic expression from Balinese people to their gods, although not all Balinese dances are part of religious rituals. There are some other dances that are presented with different purpose such as welcoming or entertainment dance. Here are some of Bali’s most popular dances and the purpose of each performance:

 

1. KECAK DANCE

kecak dance

source: Photo by Den on Unsplash

 

Originally, Kecak Dance was trance ritual conducted by group of male performers. In 1930s, German Painter and Musician Walter Spies got interested in this dance. He adapted it into drama based on the Hindu Ramayana with intention of performing the dance ritual for western tourists. He collaborated with Wayan Limbak who popularized this dance internationally by arranging international tours for Balinese dancers. Nowadays, you can watch Kecak Dance is various places around Bali especially in Ubud and Uluwatu areas.

 

2. LEGONG DANCE

legong dance bali

source: https://pixabay.com/en/users/keulefm-122060/

 

Legend has it that Legong Dance was originated from the dream of a Prince of Sukawati when he has fallen ill and dreamt of two maidens danced to gamelan music. Once he had woken up, he arranged for the dance to be performed in real life as royal entertainment. It was also believed that Legong Dance was originated from Sanghyang Dedari, a ceremonial dance that involved two pre-pubescent girls who got voluntarily possessed as part of the ritual.

 

3. BARONG DANCE

barong dance

Source : IG @bali.fe

 

Barong is a mythological animal that represents good spirit in the shape of lion like figure. Barong dance itself represents battle between good and evil, where Barong represents good, Rangda represents evil. Overall, Barong Dance shows a story between the battle of good and evil, where in the end, Barong will win against Rangda, which also means that good will always win against evil.

 

4. WELCOME DANCE

panyembrahma welcome dance bali

Source : IG @kutaheritage

 

Welcome Dance or Panyembrahma Dance was created due to controversy. Traditional Balinese Dances are considered too sacred thus not suitable to be performed in secular performances in front of non-Balinese audience. Nowadays, Panyembrahma Dance is performed to welcome guests in events or hospitality business places as sign of hospitality.

 

5. JANGER DANCE

janger dance bali

Source : IG @balinataraja

 

Janger dance is a unique dance that combines between Gamelan Batel or Gender Wayang instrument. Janger dance is usually functioned as entertainment dance performed by Balinese guys and girls in pair at parties, celebration or other events. Not only dancing, the dancer usually will also sing while being accompanied by music instruments such as Batel and Tetamburan.

 

6. PENDET DANCE

pendet dance bali

Source : IG @cha_risha

Pendet Dance is believed to be a form of Balinese flower offering ritual such as banten or canang from shrine to shrine. Typically, Pendet Dance is performed by young girls that carry flower bowls and occasionally throw the flower into the air during dance.